By SHAWNA KELLY
MEDINA â€” Considering Medinaâ€™s Alex Wasik and Taylore Urbanâ€™s impressive talent itâ€™s hard to believe they are just first-year varsity gymnasts.
They have competed together at the club level since they were 5 years old but high school is aÂ different experience. There is less individual pressure and teamwork is key.
With Medinaâ€™s No. 1 performer and state veteran, Nicki Rymer, out of commission for most of the season with a back injury, the Bees needed a skilled competitor or two to step up and lead the way.
Luckily for Medina, it had Wasik, 15, and Urban, 16, to fill the gap.
â€œAlex and Taylore have both been our leading scorers on all events,â€ Medina coach Kathy Rymer said. â€œAlex tends to dominate the bars and Taylore dominates the floor. Both have played important roles in all-around because we use their scores on all four events.â€
Wasik is first in Medina County in bars (9.25 points) and fourth in vault (8.65). Urban is third in floor (9.2), tied for fifth in beam (8.85) and fifth in bars (8.45).
Both girls hold top spots in the county in all-around. Wasik is fourth (35.0) and Urban is sixth (34.0).
Wasik has been the top girl for Medina since entering high school but filling Nickiâ€™s shoes was difficult for the freshman.
â€œItâ€™s really exciting,â€ Wasik said. â€œIt was a little bit tough at the beginning of the season. Itâ€™s been hard to take Nickiâ€™s spot because she is amazing. But we have a lot of help from our teammates.â€
As a sophomore, Urban has also stepped up to put critical points on the board for the Bees.
â€œTaylore is amazing on the floor,â€ Wasik said. â€œI am strong on bars and vault. Our scores complement each other. We help each other out in everything. We are two peas in a pod.â€
The bond the girls share is what makes them stronger competitors. They are the type of athletes who cheer each other on without being overly competitive.
â€œWe are not competitive with each other,â€ Urban said. â€œShe makes me want to be better. Watching her on bars and watching her get better scores than me, I am happy for her. It makes me want to do better. We are never jealous of each other. Itâ€™s a good thing.â€
â€œWe are just best friends,â€ added Wasik. â€œEverything that we do we are always together. … We have so many things in common itâ€™s easy to be friends.â€
Wasik and Urban have different personalities but their ambition and drive has helped them to be leaders for theÂ Medina team.
â€œAlex tends to be a happy-go-lucky kind of kid and she responds to competition very well,â€ Kathy Rymer said. â€œTaylore is a more serious person and is a very hard worker. She strives for perfection and will do a skill over and over again until she gets it just right.â€
It has been easy for the two gymnasts to feed off each others energy. The rest of the Medina squad has picked up on their vibes and it shows. The Bees have put together a 8-5 record.
â€œI think we have been doing really well,â€ Urban said. â€œI think in a few years we can get stronger and do bigger and better things. I think we are doing great.â€
Wasik agreed with her teammate.
â€œI think we have been very strong,â€ she said. â€œWe help each other out. We cheer for each other and we are always there for each other.â€
Kelly may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-721-4042.